I go chop your dollar, Ctd

I wonder if Terry Serepisos‘ loan has come through yet? Things are looking tough for his lender all the same:

Ahsan Ali Syed has tricked scores of business people. Now an Australian property developer is taking him on, writes Kate McClymont.

It was a swindle of global proportions. The alleged perpetrator is a fraudster dubbed the Bernie Madoff of India. From his swish offices in Bahrain and Switzerland, Ahsan Ali Syed has orchestrated a multi-million-dollar scam where upfront fees were paid for loans that never eventuated.

The victims are well-heeled business people from Australia, including a former state treasurer, as well as from New Zealand, Malaysia, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands.

This week Keith Johnson, one of NSW’s largest property developers, who was fleeced $US3,627,000, is meeting Bahraini criminal prosecutors to provide documentary evidence that Mr Ali, 40, is at the centre of a vast transnational fraud.

…Mr Ali’s company Western Gulf Advisory claimed it had $US8 billion in its Swiss coffers with up to $US1.1 billion earmarked for investment in Australian projects.

Over the past few years, dozens of Australian businessmen, thwarted in their attempts to refinance loans locally, made the pilgrimage to Mr Ali’s office in Bahrain, buoyed by the promise of a financial lifeline. But it was all an illusion, a sophisticated scam whereby Mr Ali pocketed each borrower’s 1.6 per cent establishment fee. With promised loans of up to $US200 million, the upfront fees had to be paid to secure the loans. Most investors lost several million dollars each.

At the end of last year a Bahrani court ordered Mr Ali to repay Mr Johnson’s fees plus interest but today WGA will be back in court, appealing the decision.

The Melbourne lawyer Andy Bryce, who represents 15 other Australian clients who between them have lost more than $30 million, will accompany Mr Johnson to Bahrain.

 

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